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Mil Med. 2014 Mar;179(3):273-8. doi: 10.7205/MILMED-D-13-00076.

A survey of perceived barriers and attitudes toward mental health care among OEF/OIF veterans at VA outpatient mental health clinics.

Author information

  • 1South Texas Veterans Health Care System, Mental Health Outpatient Services, 5788 Eckhert Road 116A1, San Antonio, TX 78240.
  • 2Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Texas Health Science Center, 7400 Merton Minter Boulevard, San Antonio, TX 78229-4404.
  • 3Puget Sound Health Care System, Deployment Health Clinic (S-116), Seattle, WA 98108.
  • 4Institute for Integration of Medicine and Science, PBRN Resource Center, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 7400 Merton Minter Boulevard, San Antonio, TX 78229-4404.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

In an effort to improve our understanding of perceived treatment barriers among veterans of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) relative to other era veterans, the current study examined veteran attitudes and beliefs about mental health treatment and treatment-seeking, and perceived patient and institution-level logistical barriers to care.

METHOD:

A survey was conducted among 434 Combat veterans seeking care in nine Veterans Affairs mental health care outpatient clinics.

RESULTS:

When compared to Vietnam and Gulf War veterans, OEF/OIF veterans were significantly more likely to endorse negative treatment attitudes as possible barriers to care. OEF/OIF veterans were also more likely than Vietnam veterans to endorse conflicting work demands as a potential barrier, although this was the only logistical barrier for which OEF/OIF veterans' responses differed significantly from those of veterans of other eras. Among OEF/OIF veterans, older veterans were more likely than younger veterans to endorse barriers related to cost and time commitments.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings suggest an important role for outreach and engagement strategies that address attitudinal barriers to treatment utilization among veteran populations.

Reprint & Copyright © 2014 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S.

PMID:
24594461
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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